Local Historic City News reporters and Mayor Nancy Shaver welcomed Francisca Guilford, National President of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Auxiliary, Thursday during a flag waiving ceremony on the grounds of Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.
The VFW Auxiliary is the nation’s oldest veteran’s service organization auxiliary with nearly 465,000 members representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and foreign locations that include Germany, Guam and Panama, according to Amber Putnam, Florida Department Commander.
“Members are relatives of those who have served in overseas combat,” Putnam to Historic City News editor Michael Gold. “We are very thankful to have our national president with us today, and recognize her leadership and dedication to veterans and their families.”
Those members and guests attending this morning’s ceremony and proclamation were treated to a guided tour of the oldest fortification in the continental United States, courtesy of the National Park Service. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument preserves a unique specimen of Spanish military architecture and engineering, related cultural resources, and their architectural, political, and social history.
During the 2014-2015 Program Year, VFW Auxiliary members provided $4.6 million dollars in monetary aid to veterans, active-duty military and their families, volunteered nearly 800,000 hours in VA Medical Centers, hospitals, nursing homes and veteran’s homes, awarded $146,000 in scholarships and distributed more than 332,000 American flags.
The city commission declared March 17, 2016 as “Our Veterans – Now and Forever Day”, and Mayor Shaver said that she encourages all citizens to proudly serve veterans, the military and their families. She joined her fellow commissioners and the community in honoring the sacrifices and commitment of every man and woman who has served in uniform.
For more than 100 years, the VFW Auxiliary members have been supporting the Veterans of Foreign Wars, serving veterans and their families, active-duty military and their families, and spreading patriotism nationwide.
Photo credits: © 2016 Historic City News staff photographer